All posts in Reviews

  • Feedback Sports Velo Hinge

    velo hinge feedback sports

    My buddies over at Feedback Sports were kind enough to send me a couple of their new Velo Hinge bike storage hooks and they’re looking great. I’ve been a fan of Feedback’s stuff for a while now and have yet to be disappointed with one of their products.

    Sure, you can always head down to your local hardware store and purchase some rubberized u-hooks, but they’re not nearly as clean looking nor as functional as the Velo Hinges. Sure, they both accomplish the same thing, but the Velo Hinge allows you to hang a bike and them pivot it for maximum space. Not gonna be using the Velo Hinge for a while? No problem, simply fold the hook down and you’ll hardly notice it was there in the first place; much better than staring at an empty protruding red, yellow or grey u-hook.

    As you may know, I’m in-between jobs and countries right now. I should be all setup in Shanghai by early March, but until then I won’t have a place to use these hooks. I do know, however, that space and efficiency is going to be of the essence while living in Shanghai and the Velo Hinge will be the perfect way for me to store my bike(s) while overseas. I’ll be sure to update you all with photos of the installation once I arrive in China. Until then, check out the Velo Hinge by Feedback Sports if you’re looking to upgrade your bicycle storage!

    -B

  • Qak Thump Blu Headphone Review

    thumpblu headphones

    I’m always listening to music; all day, every day. So when I got the chance to try out the Thump Blu wireless Bluetooth headphones by QAK, I couldn’t have been more excited. “Here’s another chance to take advantage of my Spotify Premium account” I told myself. For the majority of the day at work, I’ll be wearing some big over-the-ear headphones for all-day comfort and optimal sound quality. Getting out of work, I normally grab some ear buds and ended up getting used to the sub-par sound quality and general discomfort. When I first received these headphones, I figured they’d be comparable to a decent pair of buds both in terms of sound and fit. Well, I was wrong. The dynamic range is incredible and these headphones BANG! I went for some hip-hop right off the bat and was blown away at the bass these produce and how clear the audio is. Oh yeah, and how about NO MORE WIRES! No longer do you have to worry about rigging through your jersey or tee shirt; Bluetooth is the truth. (more below)

    Continue reading “Qak Thump Blu Headphone Review” »

  • Initial Reaction: ABUS Granit X Plus Mini 54 U Lock

    abus granit x plus mini 54 u lock

    I came home from work today to find a nice little package from ABUS, containing their newly-released Granit X Plus 54 u lock. This mini u lock is their top-of-the-line in terms of security and portability. They took the locking system and wide profile of the largest Granit X Plus locks and shrunk the shackle size, which is great if you’re in an urban area and need a lock that won’t take up a ton of space in your bag. My initial reaction to this lock is that it’s beefy, and in the best of ways. Not only does it have a double bolted shackle, but it’s also equipped with an automatic keyhole cover that helps keep moving parts safe from the elements. I’m so excited to try out this lock! I’ll report back once I’ve given it some proper use and let you know what I think.

    -B

     

  • Budnitz No. 2 Titanium 650b Mountain Bike

    budnitz no 2 650b mountain bike

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve probably caught wind of the latest wheel-related phenomenon in mountain biking: the 650b aka 27.5”. For years and years I’d been perfectly content on my 26” hardtail, even giving a couple singlespeed 29ers a chance, however, nothing really held my attention like a good ‘ole 26” wheel; at least until just recently.

    I was given the privilege of testing out the Budnitz No. 2 titanium 650b mountain bike and let’s just say it was really hard to give back after two weeks of straight thrashing. The bike rides like a dream and is ridiculously light, weighing in at just 18 lbs. The 650b is a wheel size I’ve been curious about in regards to mountain biking for some time now, especially since I’m partial to a smaller wheel. A 29er has always felt a little cumbersome for me and doesn’t exactly fit my riding style. As a youth, I spent afternoons building jumps and riding a BMX bike, so once I transitioned to a mountain bike, my bmx instincts followed.

    Continue reading “Budnitz No. 2 Titanium 650b Mountain Bike” »

  • Chrome Barrage Cargo Rolltop Backpack

    chrome barrage rolltop backpack

    The Chrome Barrage Cargo backpack is real gem. I’ve been running this back daily for the last three months and it’s really impressed me. Sure, Chrome has a huge variety of bags for all purposes, but the Barrage is one of the best all-arounders I’ve tried out. This bag isn’t for messin’, no. Instead it excels as a day pack, perfect for toting your daily sundries while leaving you plenty of room for whatever you may pick up along the way.

    On the exterior of this US-made backpack, you’ve got a webbed cargo net that is perfect for holding all sorts of items, including a helmet, a stinky pair of shoes, beer you don’t have room for in your bag, and even a skateboard. Well, especially a skateboard. Like I said, it’d the perfect day bag. Day-to-day I’d find myself carrying my 15″ Macbook pro, a pair of skate shoes, water bottle, tool roll, lock, deodorant, windbreaker and a few other items. Even with all this junk I carry, I’ve still got room for a sixer on the way home. Check out a few narrated detail shots below and if you’re interested in the Barrage Cargo Bag be sure to head over to your local bike shop, Chrome Hub, or Chrome Industries.

    -B

    Continue reading “Chrome Barrage Cargo Rolltop Backpack” »

  • Ibex Giro FZ Merino Wool Jersey

    ibex giro fz merino wool cycling jersey

    Merino wool is one of my most favorite fabrics. As a matter of fact, I’m wearing a merino tee as I write this. Anyway, I’ve been wearing this Ibex Giro Merino Wool Jersey all fall and love it. It’s my first wool jersey and it definitely won’t be my last. The best thing about merino wool is how it wicks moisture, keeping you dry while regulating your body heat; two priorities of mine I pay special attention to during the fall. It’s also made in the USA!

    The jersey is full-zip, form-fitting and close to what I’d call a “race cut”.  It features three pockets in addition to a small reflective Ibex logo on the middle pocket – subtle and functional. Speaking of which, this jersey is the perfect synergy of subtlety and functionality. Besides keeping me drier than my ‘race’ jerseys, it’s also barren of large logos, a quality I’ve grown to appreciate.

    Continue reading “Ibex Giro FZ Merino Wool Jersey” »

  • Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes

    ursa major face wipe

    I meant to include this photo along with the Otis Mountain camping writeup, but figured it warranted it’s own post since I’ve been enjoying these face wipes so much lately. A couple weeks ago I got to meet Oliver and the gang from Ursa Major, a skin care company for men based here in Burlington, VT and I got a few of their Essential Face Wipes. Not only do these leave your face refreshed, they also help improve your skin’s overall health; important qualities when you lead an active life or are just on the road a bunch. I first tried one after riding from Burlington to Elizabethtown, NY to camp last weekend and my face was stoked. The next test? A quick freshening up before a night out with a lady friend. The verdict? Success.

    I’ve also been using the Fantastic Face Wash for the past couple weeks and am just as elated with it! Seriously, it’s worth it just to smell so good afterwards. But just like the face wipes, the face wash is designed to thoroughly clean without leaving your skin dry or irritated. It’s composed of essential oils including cedar, lime, lemon, spearmint, spruce, owyhee, vetiver and lavender in a concentrated formula, so the 8 oz bottle should easily last a couple months.

    Make sure to have a look at the rest of the men’s skin care products by Ursa Major, and if you’re in Vermont you can get Ursa Major products locally at Healthy Living, City Market, Stowe Kitchen Bath and Linens, Orvis in Manchester and Clementine in Middlebury.

    -B

     

  • Boombotix Boombot REX

    boombotix boombot rex

    boombotix boombot rex

    If you follow me on Spotify, you know I’m always listening to something different. The music doesn’t stop when I leave work either, thanks to the Boombotix Boombot REX portable Bluetooth speaker. For a while I was running the Boombot2 speaker and when the opportunity came to try out the Boombot REX, I nearly jumped out of my seat with excitement.

    The Boombot2 was surprisingly loud to begin with, so I had the bar set pretty high for the Boombotix REX. Upon receiving and unpacking the REX, the first thing I did was ride out to Winooski to get a few beers with Hunt. This was the perfect opportunity to test out the speaker’s volume. I cued up my Motown playlist and set out towards the Woo. Continue reading “Boombotix Boombot REX” »

  • Chrome De Haro Windbreaker Review

    de haro windbreaker

    de haro windbreaker

    I originally got this jacket back in mid-June and to be honest, I wasn’t really sure how often I’d get to wear it being the beginning of summer and all. Well surprisingly, the Chrome De Haro Windbreaker has become a staple of mine throughout the summer and is seeing even more use now that we’re approaching fall here in Vermont. I couldn’t be more hyped on this jacket.

    I’ve never really owned a windbreaker that I’ve liked until now, and I’m being completely serious. The main appeal of this jacket to me is how lightweight and stash-able it is, making it easy to always carry.  Spontaneous late-nights are a common occurrence throughout the summer and the De Haro will have your back when the temperature drops (literally).

    Continue reading for the rest of the review.

    Continue reading “Chrome De Haro Windbreaker Review” »

  • Flying with a Bicycle

    NYC_Day-01-3-655x436

    NYC_Day-01-3-655x436

    If anyone knows how to travel with a bike, it’s Mr. Prolly. He recently compiled a pretty informative post on his tried and true method of flying with a bicycle and I gotta agree with him here: the cardboard box is your friend. While I think the Chinatown suitcase method is a close runner up, you can’t beat a nearly free (just make sure to buy your local shop some beer) cardboard box and some packing tape. It’ll break down for easy storage wherever you’re staying, and most towns will also have a shop where you can probably find another if need be. The comments section here is also great and filled with some valuable insights. John probably has the best method, still.

    -B

  • Feedback Sports Pro Elite Bike Stand Review

    SONY DSC

    SONY DSC

    Whether you own a number of bicycles, ride a ton, or just enjoy doing your own maintenance, having a solid work stand is essential. As an ex-shop mechanic of 10 years I’ve definitely owned a number of stands, but none have left me as jazzed as the Pro Elite by Feedback Sports. Seriously.

    The stand has seen quite a bit of use over the last few months. I’ve put off working on my bikes less simply because of how easy it is to setup and break down. The quick release clamp is a very nice touch and makes getting bikes in and out of the stand a breeze. I also feel a lot better about clamping carbon posts with this stand since you can really fine-tune the tightness and go gentle when needed.

    As far as the stands actual performance goes, I’d say I’m just as enthused. It’s easily the nicest bike stand that I’ve owned. Sure, it’s not going to feel as sturdy as a shop stand but don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty darn solid. It’s also very portable at only 12.6 pounds thanks to the aluminum construction, and can even support up to 85 pounds.

    I’ve mostly had my road, mountain and commuter bike in the stand over the last few months; all of which are pretty lightweight. Even with heavier bikes, including an old Schwinn, the stand stood sturdy. Obviously there will be some flex with a heavier bike, but never did the Pro Elite feel noodley or weak.

    I’ve taken a few months to get this review together because I really wanted to be able to speak to the product’s initial durability throughout consistent use. I try to only share products that I believe are of the best quality and especially those that I’ve had a good experience with. For more information on the Feedback Sports Pro Elite Bike Stand, check out the video of Doug below explaining some of the features as well as more photos.

    Also, it was great to meet the Feedback guys out in Denver this past February! The mechanic build off was quite the event…

    If you have any questions about the stand, simply leave a comment of email me! Apologies for the sub-par photos, my apartment’s lighting is crap.

    -B

    Continue reading “Feedback Sports Pro Elite Bike Stand Review” »

  • Toko Eco Wash & Care

    SONY DSC

    SONY DSC

    I’ve been a big fan of the Toko’s Care Line recently. With a nice chunk of my laundry made up of kit and other technical fabrics, it’s reassuring knowing that your detergent and fabric softener were created with these textiles in mind. I’ve been using the Eco Wash detergent and Sportswear Care products for a couple months now and not only does my laundry smell better, but I feel like I’m doing my bibs and jerseys a favor for their longevity. I’ve successfully used these products at both a commercial laundromat and a home washing machine and dryer (not for testings sake, but it’s what was convenient) with ease. If you’re looking for some quality care products and find yourself washing a number of tech fabrics I’d give the Wash and Care both a look.

    Be sure to check out the rest of the Toko Care Line too.

    -B